Monday, March 24, 2014

Oil Pulling, What Are You Waiting For?

I've already been using EVCO for several years, mainly for cooking in replacement for oil and butter. Recently I started using it on my face at night and on my hands to soothe dryness. It would only make sense that I would adopt yet another use for this miraculous product.

I just found out about Oil Pulling. Why I'm so late to the game when I pride myself on knowing health food tricks is just absurd. But hey, I admit, I didn't know. Once I came across the article, I was immediately intrigued, because like I said, I'm a sucker for this stuff. I was especially intrigued since the simple act of swishing oil was supposed to dramatically help your teeth, as well as quality of sleep.

I waited until Sunday arrived to try it out. I popped out of bed, put a scoop (about a teaspoon) of it in my mouth, set my timer to 20 min, sat on the couch and opened my email. I admit it was quite challenging the first time. It didn't taste wonderful, and it was rather slimy. But I just kept reminding myself why I was doing it, "no dental insurance...SONYA, NO DENTAL INSURANCE."  I ended up getting through it with just the tiniest bit swallowed.
I'm going to come right out and admit, that my teeth immediately felt cleaner and smoother. Well, swishing oil would do that, so I wasn't about to go bonkers over that fact alone. I decided to give it a week and then decide.

Two weeks later
I've been doing Oil Pulling for two weeks now and I love it. It's easy, and my teeth feel very strong. They are also whiter. In fact they became whiter after only 3-days of doing it. My gums are a healthy shade of pink and don't feel as sensitive. It's also become super easy to do the swishing. I can even do the swishing while getting ready in the morning (makeup, straightening hair, getting dressed).

THIS IS BIG NEWS. Maybe some would be all like...hey cool. I'm like OMFG I'M IN LOVE AND I WILL SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS. My teeth have had chronic annoying issues since I was little. If this can help me, I'm sure it can help everyone.
/steps down from soapbox, puts down megaphone.

The best method for me is:
1) Teaspoon scoop into mouth
2) Set timer to 20 min
3) Check email, get ready for day
4) After timer gongs, spit out into trash can
5) Gargle with warm water to remove remaining oil
6) Brush teeth

And feel the effects. Some of which include:

*prevents cavities & help fix them
*restores gums to healthy shade of pink
*helps gingivitis
*prevents bad breath
*helps remove plaque
*holistic treatment of TMJ

Also, can help with:

*correcting hormone balance
*helps support normal kidney function (which can help circulation, bladder, knees, feet spasms, emotional support, etc)
*helps reduce sinus congestion
*helps reduce insomnia
*reduced hangover
*helps eliminate toxins from body

 I've also decided I want to try the sesame oil pulling after hearing it's the best. I have yet to buy it, since Trader Joes only sells toasted sesame oil and I don't know if it would have the same effects. If the results are even better, I will follow up with a part 2 blog!

Happy Swishing! :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Have The Best Dog In The World. Or My World, But Still.

I love my midget dog on two inch legs.
He is the best dog in the world. He is also the most cuddly little guy ever. It hasn't always been all flowers and unicorns, but it has been well worth it in the end. Well not end yet, thank god...10 more years to go if we're lucky?

Each day when I get home, before even unlocking the door, who do I hear? My little dog whining on the other end, desperate for me to open the door. For the first five minutes of my arrival, he is all smiles while frolicking around me until I reach down and give him a pet. It's actually a little overwhelming, but it makes me feel very happy because who the heck else is THAT excited to see me Even 30 seconds later. Right, that's what a dog is for.

He also makes the cutest little sounds each day as an attempt to relay some type of emotion that I can only guess the reasoning. Some sound like a little dog howl, some sound like crinkled paper, and some don't have any fitting example to put against them. However, I smile and laugh each time, because it's just silly. He is silly. He also snores a lot. The older he gets, the louder the snore. It's pretty redic, but kind of cute in a weird way.

He is not only a dog but doubles as an alarm clock, which is pretty legit. His desperate whines alert me that he needs to go out and he wants to eat. Once I get up to take him out, he burrows back in his bed and sleeps again. Meaning I can go back to sleep for a bit if I choose. Generally doesn't happen.

He looks good in a sweater.

He looks good in an American Apparel hoodie.
He looks good as a hot dog.

He also makes the funniest expressions.

He loves to play with fancy stuffed animal toys and will demolish them within an hour. He licks them as if they are his prey, his mouth wavering in an overly creepy excited if he could actually catch one of these creatures and eat them. And then he cuddles with their defeated bodies leaving the mess of strewn cotton, plastic squeakers and eyeballs behind.  But he almost prefers plastic hangers that get stuck on his head, plastic bottles that make way too much noise in a tiny apartment, and earplugs that belong in my ear, not his mouth.

He also loves blankets, fresh warm laundry, and pillowcases. This is because he is a burrow dog, and these things make his little heart light up. Sometimes it's annoying how persistent he is with these items, but it's just who he is. The other thing that is annoying is his determination to wet said items if he has the chance. It's beyond gross and costs a lot in laundry fees. But again, it's manageable, and I'm sure once I get a place with a doggy door and washer/dryer it will get better. #highhopes

It's also weird having a tiny 13lb dog that thinks he can intimidate big dogs by nipping at their butts and barking angrily at them. I guess it's because of the time he got attacked, but seriously? That little brain is bizarre. I still have mild ptsd from his attack, and I guess so does he. #dogmomproblems

The cutest thing EVER is watching him have fun in the grass. He hops around like a bunny, rolls on worms, and runs around like a maniac with his ears flapping vigorously in the wind.

I've gone through a lot with my little dog. Much more than anyone would think when first purchasing a new adorable little puppy. But it's been a good experience, and his face makes me smile several times per day. It is sad seeing his weakened little legs lose traction on tile, and not being able to make it up a curb, or by mistake stepping on him and hearing that overly piercing squeal escape his lips. But again, it's all part of having a dog, and I love him.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sweaty to Chic in 10 Minutes or Less

Do you ever have those days when the most classic thing that could go wrong, does go wrong?

Well today was that day for me. This morning I set up an interview with a promotional model brand ambassador company for the early afternoon. Thinking I had some time, I leisurely went to the gym and stayed there for over an hour. I lost track of time, checked the time and realized that my interview was in a little over an hour and still had to do a few things prior, so I quickly hurried home. By the time I reached my front steps, I was even more sweaty than at the gym. Hot, I know. Well, when I got there, so was the City of San Diego. I guess our sewer system was covering the front lawn of my apartment, and they weren't down with it. Apparently in a dog friendly apartment building, people love sticking "doggy wipes" down the toilets. Not sure what "doggy wipes" are, but the plumbing pipes (since they think and feel) decided they had had enough of this "crap" (ba-da-dum), and flushed it all out on our lawn. The same wet lawn that hours prior my dog rolled in thinking it was rain water from the night before. It was not. It was gross bathroom stuff and toilet paper. Awesome. So, after a rather in-depth chat to explain the circumstances, they told me they were shutting off the water and a shower was not an option.

At this point, I was smelly, sweaty, and had a very small window to get ready before having to walk over to the interview as well as deal with my dog, and eat something. An interview where they judge you on your appearances that is. Again, probably the most classic time to not be able to shower.

So what does a girl do?
Get sweaty to chic in 10 min or less.

Now, I realize for some girls this is merely impossible and they would say, "eff this interview, it's not going to happen." Well I'm not one of those girls. Yes, I love the process of getting ready, and if I can take awhile, I will. But sometimes you just got to get a move on and do what you can.

Luckily for us girls, we have items like perfume, lotion, and deodorant. You don't want to over do it with this stuff to make it look like you over-fragranced because you are actually a homeless bum on crack spraying perfume like a maniac. You have to think about these things a bit (1 min of thinking required, 9 min remaining).

Remaining steps:
1) take off sweaty clothes and quickly pat dry with towel.
2) take your favorite lotion, mine being organic rose, and smear a thin coat over arms and legs.
3) apply ample deodorant. Let yourself go crazy here, you are sweaty after all.
4) go to closet, pull black blazer, dark designer jeans,  black wedges, black blouse, belt (can't be wearing loose jeans, no go), and put on.
5) pull pony tail out of pony tail holder and do a couple dramatic model head shakes, to end up with that voluminous hair.
6) apply makeup - just eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner to top lid, mascara to top lid, bronzer on cheeks, lipgloss.
7) find hip, gold necklace chain combo.
8) spray perfume - several sprays to coat outfit and a bit in hair.

Boom. Interview mode, on. Done and done. You're welcome.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes in Work and Health.

Last week I decided to make a couple dramatic changes. Not only changes in day-to-day life, but changes in direction of my company.

In the height of experiencing some rather unpleasant "should I focus my business on this one sole product and area of interest" feelings last week, I spoke to my Dad who I knew would lend some honest feedback. I still love the idea, but I decided right then and there to have what was my focal point now just be one of the products. Might not sound like a big deal to some, but after spending three months doing research, writing, design work, web work, getting 400+ "likes" on FB, and talking to about 100 people, it seems a little crazy to me. However, I've heard several times that if a certain idea isn't resonating with you, it's good to turn your attention elsewhere before it's too late. Back to the precious conversation. During this talk with my Dad, a lightbulb went off for a new focus. It not only made me really jazzed, but my Dad got really jazzed as well. All of these ideas started flowing, and it's almost as if I held the business plan in the palm of my hand. I could also see the idea helping a whole lot of people, which is even better. It still falls under my same main company model, so not everything will be different, thank god. Of course whenever I sit down and put fingers to keyboard, browsing Facebook seems like the easier option. Sheesh Facebook, how much time you waste, and most of the time it's not even that interesting! Although I will say that in the first day I wrote four pages in five minutes. Rad, now I have 12, but I'm not done, still so much more to do! So this is one big change, and now is the time to shift my entire focus and adapt to my new baby.  (I realize this is really vague, but until the plan is all typed out I feel weary announcing the idea to the internet.)

To aid in this new direction, I've also decided to get my health under wraps. I've started meditating several times a week, I am going to start volunteering at the meditation center to help them with Marketing, I've started getting acupuncture, drinking Chinese herbs as well as a cocktail of health supplements, doing more yoga, and making sure I get out daily. I realized that I have to keep structure in my life and more people. It's easy to make excuses and work only from home, but what does that accomplish really? There's always something else I could be doing, like playing with my dog, cleaning, eating, Hulu, etc. Again, structure, and that is far from it. I forget this from time to time, but have to keep coming back to it.

Right before I made this big decision to adopt a new baby in my life, I had just gotten finished with a benefit event I put on in my local community. I was terrified that it wouldn't go well and that no one would show up. But that didn't happen - it turned out well! It's also great because it's something I want to do a lot more of. The pre-event and post-event stirred up a lot of emotions, which were both good and unpleasant, and as a result many things are changing for what I hope is the better.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Mental Entrepreneurial Rant.

I've always thought of myself as an entrepreneur, and have always imagined my life in this way. However,  I've worked at several desk jobs with "stable" paychecks, thinking that would be more practical. I've tried different business ideas out, and then people managed to convince me to go back to the desk job. And, I've never liked it. And, I don't fit in. And, I get that most of my friends are not of the entrepreneurial nature, and don't understand why I would take a big risk and go out for something fulfilling over something "normal" and "stable".  Not their fault. It's mine for giving in. Not to mention, I've found that those "stable" paychecks, can actually be quite unstable, so the not-so-fulfilling desk job route just doesn't any make sense at all. Where does that leave me? Back at what I feel is my true calling of being an entrepreneur. It's hard to go from doing one line of work, and then making a drastic change to a new world with only a little bit of money to float on...
I'm also stepping into something singlehandedly that I've never done before. Frankly, what not many people have tried to do before. It's a new vision, and one that not many people can grasp. Yes there are other similar brand models that have done similar things here and there, but overall not like mine. It's almost funny, when I speak to people in my target market, they get pumped and want in. When I speak to older people either in the industry or people that know a little bit about related topics, they try and discourage me from moving forward. They even like to say, "I know this sounds discouraging but..." Well, you're right, it does sound discouraging. However, I don't care. At least I'm trying really hard to keep my head in the game. The one thing they don't get is that I don't want to give up, and I'm not going to. So keep trying to discourage me. Tell me it's really hard. Tell me to give up. If it makes you feel better that is...
Other entrepreneurs get it. It's very inspiring brainstorming with others that are trying to do something that they are passionate about and make it a reality. I leave those conversations feeling jazzed and ready to keep going. I need more people like that in my life.
So then, is that how it's going to be? I literally have to fight my way to making this dream job happen and convince people that I know what I'm doing? Or just hang around entrepreneurs all the time? The latter sounds more fun. Even though everyone "likes my idea" upon first hearing it,  I'm still going to receive a lot of discouraging feedback and I will have to keep wading through it keeping up a positive outlook. I guess that's just life though. Fighting your way to the finish, and hoping for a good end result. All the while, I'm just trying to inspire people to give back, have fun, and help animals in the process. What the eff is up with all the negativity? I understand that most people are just trying to make money. I want to do both. I know it's possible. It really will just take money to make money, as well as the right people on my side.
It's true, sometimes I wake up and think what the hell am I thinking? And then quickly, I think about why I'm doing this, and why I'm in love with the idea, and how many people are excited about it, and why it matters, and I get up and get to work. I've also decided to try my hand at a side job in what I consider myself an expert in: helping people (esp guys) become stylish, staying fit, and dating tips. Shouldn't be too hard right?  Nuff said.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Is The Best Thing Ever.

Plain and simply, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (OVCO) is the best thing in the world. For years I have loved using it as a replacement butter or oil for cooking, because I had always heard it was really healthy. However, it was pretty pricey at most stores, $8.99 and up. I even once paid $15 for a jar. Luckily Trader Joes decided to make their own version and only charge $5.99.

As I said it tastes great on food. Yet I'd also heard that it worked well on an external level, with the ability to make your hands, face, and hair beautiful. My Mom even told me that I could try it for mild under-eye and forehead wrinkles. As well as preventing old looking hands, which love to creep up on people pushing 30. Since I don't love putting toxic preservative filled lotions on my face, around my eyes, or soaking into my hands, I recently decided to give this a try. I'm also bitter that I developed my own amazing organic anti-wrinkle cream, but now can't use it anymore. I don't want to have to pay a high cost for something similar, and I definitely don't want to buy something toxic to try. So instead using a product I consume for multi-use purposes sounds great! Each night after removing my makeup, I grab a tiny bit from the fridge and gently smooth it over my face, eyes, and all over my hands. The result is lovely. My hands are extremely smooth, and my face has brightened over the few days using it. In fact my face looked brighter after one night of leaving it on. I'm still working on the eyes...but the imperfections are only really visible when I smile. Might just need to be serious all the time. Yea, right.

Even better, is my experience using it after returning from freezing Santa Fe. My hands and face became sandpaper during my stay there, which was quite unpleasant. I didn't even put much of the OVCO on and they were instantly smoother. Regular lotions, even potent shea butter lotion, would take me a week or more to do the same thing. After about 2 days, my skin felt incredibly smooth.

I have yet to use it on my hair, but that test is next. I was told that it works great when leaving it in overnight. I can't wait to see how beautiful my long locks will look afterwards!

Now it's a thing in my house. Before coming to bed, my boyfriend says, "did you lube yourself up?" And follows that up with comments about how I smell like popcorn. I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Big Green Vegetable Monster.

I'm terminally imprisoned to eating more than my share of vegetables.

What does this mean exactly? It sounds weird, I know. Only someone in my position can truly get it, but I want to attempt to explain anyways...and see if there are any others like myself out there.

I've always thought of myself as a healthy eater. I've also always had an obsession for kale (as my other blog clearly stated), but it's recently come to my attention that veggies in general are a must on each plate I consume. There has to be green in my fridge, and my cart at the store has to be loaded with green or I do not feel complete. I actually feel an overwhelming sense of guilt, and I feel my body would hate me. I would never survive as one of those people scrimping off of Top Ramen only. I would probably lose it.

When I enter Trader Joes, I make a b-line for the vegetable refrigerated section and grab my staples:
-Kale (duh)
-Broccoli/Cauliflower mixed bag
-A bag of either spinach or mixed greens
-Brussels Sprouts
...and then whatever else looks pleasing to the eye.

While at a restaurant, I'm that person that always has to order something with green in it. I could never walk in, sit down, order a ham and cheese, and be on my way. The times I've tried, I feel sick. Whether it's mental or fact, it still sucks. If I'm going to order a sandwich, it's a veggie sandwich. If a pizza, it has to have veggies on it. If it's something fattening as the main dish, I have to order a side salad or side of veggies. With a burrito it has to have fajitas additions like bell peppers and onions and lettuce. Same with omelettes. I have always ordered the ones with veggies in them. Smoothies are the same deal. I used to be able to order fruit only smoothies, but now I always feel like I need to order the option with green veggies in it. I can't just order the peanut butter and banana smoothie, even though it looks scrumptious.
I can't help myself. I wouldn't go as far to say that ordering the veggie option is OCD, I actually think these options look and sound the best. My mouth salivates when perusing over the side of green beans or brussels sprouts at restaurants I visit. I would even skip dessert to get an extra side of brussels sprouts.

Some people crave beer. I crave green juice. Yes, wine too, but lets stay on topic. I would drink a lot more of it if I still lived in San Francisco and there were affordable produce stores around - San Diego is lacking in that department. However, when I do get a chance to indulge in the green, I actually feel and visualize it pumping through my veins. As a result, I feel more energy and feel amazing.

I personally really like the taste of vegetables, straight. As well as Green Tea. I don't need to apply massive amounts of sauce or sugar to make them taste good. They just do. I roll my eyes (as nonchalantly as possible) when people say certain veggies or tea tastes like grass. Thus they refuse to eat them, and are mad that they are having trouble losing weight or experiencing health problems. I can't understand why those people can't look past that and just get over it.

I guess I'm a big advocate for healthy things. Whether they taste good or not is not the point. It's how they makes you feel. Sure, I don't like eating straight grass either, but vegetables are something one can work with.

If you're the type that is scared of eating veggies, below are a couple of RECIPES:

Kale -

Pour some coconut oil or olive oil into a pan and add chopped garlic (or pureed in a jar from TJs). Once garlic gets a little brown, add fresh kale. Sautee in pan and add either a splash or two of balsamic vinegar or Braggs Liquid Aminos (soy sauce works too). Add a little water if needed. Whole process shouldn't take more than 5 min or so.

Also, add kale to tomato sauces, eggs, and sandwiches with a little balsamic/olive oil, etc.

Roasted kale is also super easy and delicious: add chopped kale to a large bag with some olive oil and garlic powder. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to coat kale evenly. Spread coated kale onto baking pan, and grind some salt and pepper over top plus more garlic powder. Get your hands dirty by moving kale around to coat additional spices into the mix. Bake in the oven on 375-400 degrees for about 10 min. Take out when kale is crispy, has shrunken down, and slightly brown on the edges.

Brussels Sprouts -

Steam brussels for no more than 5 min in a steamer pot. While steaming, make sauce concoction on the side: olive oil, red pepper chili flakes, chopped garlic, pepper, salt, squeeze of orange, honey, soy sauce. Do it all to desired taste. Place steamed brussels on a banking pan and coat with sauce. You don't need a lot of sauce. Bake in either oven or toaster oven until crispy on outside. Roll them over one or two times while baking to make sure they are cooking all over.

See? Easy and yummy.